Jot two: Using analytics to write great copy
Clare Hanlon is a Digital Strategy Manager at Front Page. Hosting Jot two, she discussed the way she uses analytics to help copywriters create effective copy.
Don't tear up creativity
Working with analytics doesn't mean only using data and throwing out creativity and common sense. These things are still important to make your work stand out from the noise. But seen as we're fighting for the attention of our audience more than ever, and we've got more information about them than ever, it makes sense to use those analytics to help create content they'll engage with.
A case for analytics
If you're still not sure – or your boss, client or employee isn't convinced – here are some of the top reasons to use analytics:
- To understand your audience.
- You're not psychic – you can make educated guesses, but you can't predict success or failure.
- They show both what's working and what's not working.
- They're difficult to argue with.
- Clients and managers want results, they don't want to pay for consistent trial and error.
- Proof of success for your own portfolio.
If the key audience segments haven't been established, we need to figure that out first and foremost. We can go through our own data from similar projects, or the client's if they have that available. If you don't have any pre-existing data to work from, do some research – you can find out tonnes about the type of people who engage with similar content by spending a few hours on Google!
Next, we'd create a persona for each segment, asking ourselves:
- Who are they? Age, type, interests.
- What are they looking for?
- Where are they based?
- How are they reading your content? Desktop, phone, tablet.
- Where and when are they reading your content? Commute, on the sofa watching TV, during work.
Useful website data
The following can tell you a lot about the way your audience are engaging (or not engaging) with your content:
- Overall time
This will tell you whether or not people are actually taking time to read your copy, and help you decide whether you need to cut or edit it.
- Bounce rate
This shows you how many site visitors leave after a single page visit, so you can figure out where to make your content more engaging.
- Page views
Indicates popular content on your site, what are your users looking at most?
- User journey
This may seem like a buzz phrase, but looking at the behaviour flow on Google Analytics can tell you so much about the way users are consuming your content.
Of course, analytics are useless if you don't use them to hit your client's targets. If these objectives are unclear, we'll often set up meetings and workshops with different members of our client's teams to truly understand their individual needs and overall goals.
- Use analytics at all stages of a campaign – not just to see the results at the end.
- At the start of a project, ask your client or manager for time and budget to analyse data – and to make tweaks throughout – to ensure your content's meeting their business objectives. We know that copywriters are often asked to 'just provide the words!'
- Don't be afraid to edit content when things aren't working.
Want to find out more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try our best to help.